Print 20 comment(s) - last by Nick5324.. on Aug 3 at 11:35 AM

Nintendo looks to first-party sales to help slumping sales

To say that the Wii U has been a disappointment for Nintendo would be an understatement. The Wii U has been a sales dud for quite some time, and developers have shied away from devoting resources to produce games for the platform.
In May, a spokesman for EA said that the company wasn't actively developing games for the Wii U. A few days later, an EA Sports developer tweeted:
The Wii U is crap. Less powerful than an Xbox 360. Poor online/store. Weird tablet.  Nintendo are walking dead at this point…Instead, they make this awful console.  It is an utterly intentional decision to focus our resources on markets which actually matter.
And Ubisoft recently stated that there wouldn't be a sequel to ZombiU because the game hasn't come close to being profitable.
Well, the bad news just keeps rolling in for Nintendo. The company today announced that it only sold 160,000 Wii U consoles worldwide for the second quarter (April – June 2013). That number is far below the 390,000 units it sold during the first quarter.

For comparison, Microsoft sold 140,000 Xbox 360 consoles in the United States alone during the month of June.
“For the ‘Wii U’ system, we will attempt to concentrate on proactively releasing key first-party titles from the second half of this year through next year to regain momentum for the platform,” said Nintendo in its earnings release.
“Nintendo strives to improve the sales by communicating the compelling nature of our hardware and software to as many people as possible through our new network service called “Miiverse,” which offers an environment where people can empathize with others and share their gaming experiences. We also strive to improve hardware profitability by reducing its costs.”
If Nintendo thinks that it's having a hard time right now with Wii U sales, the impending release of Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4 isn’t going to make selling the console to gamers any easier.

Sources: Nintendo [1], [2]

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Old Economy
By Aloonatic on 7/31/2013 1:14:49 PM , Rating: 2
To me, the Wii U was always going to struggle as I think that the Wii will serve as a great example of one of the mass consumer products that sold well before everything went wrong, and epitomised the reckless spending that caused many to get out of their credit, depth.

It was a fun, well priced (for the time) product that exploited the attitude of "stick it on the 3rd (or 4th) credit card Martha" mentality that played a large part in getting us to where we ended up (and in many countries like the UK, still are) with huge levels of personal debt.

The kind of numbers that the Wii achieved will probably never be seen again by a games console, and anyone who thought that the Wii U would get close was mad. The people who made the Wii a huge success have put their sensible trousers (pants) back on again, and realise that they don't (and never did) have a few hundred £££s/$$$s to splash out/waste on something like this, and they also now know that they would probably actually use a Wii-U very little as I think was the case with a lot of (not all, of course) Wiis.

RE: Old Economy
By MozeeToby on 7/31/2013 1:34:30 PM , Rating: 3
Speaking as someone who pays off the credit card in full every month: I bought a Wii because it looked like fun. I haven't bought a Wii U because it doesn't. Full stop. End of story. How long has the Wii U been out now? And I continue to see no compelling reason to get one. If they haven't caught the attention of an upper middle class gamer with kids by now, I highly doubt they will in the future.

RE: Old Economy
By artemicion on 7/31/2013 2:54:12 PM , Rating: 2
A Wii U comeback may not be likely, but it wouldn't be unprecedented. The PS3 struggled initially (remember the Sony exec offering a bounty if you found a PS3 on a retail shelf) but recovered quite nicely. The 3DS also struggled initially (huge price drop + ambassador awards for early adopters) but a recent influx of strong exclusive titles has sales surging.

However, I will admit the Wii U is looking more like the failing Dreamcast that the PS3 or 3DS at the moment. If Pikmin, Super Smash Bros and a Zelda remake is all that Nintendo has got up its sleeve, they are in trouble. Also, Nintendo needs to revamp the eShop because it is a trainwreck in terms of storefront design standpoint. Nintendo also needs to run more eShop sales.

One quick, easy and cheap fix would be for Nintendo to draw from its vast pool of legacy exclusive titles and offer those for free, at a discount, or as rewards using their coins reward system, which is laughably under-advertised.

RE: Old Economy
By Argon18 on 8/2/2013 10:25:51 AM , Rating: 1
"The PS3 struggled initially (remember the Sony exec offering a bounty if you found a PS3 on a retail shelf)"

These two sentences are contradictory. The exec's quote indicates very strong sales, i.e. stores cannot keep them in stock. How then does that equate to "struggling"?

I remember the Christmas when PS3 came out... lines out the door at most stores, it most certainly did not struggle, not initially, not ever.

RE: Old Economy
By Nick5324 on 8/3/2013 11:25:21 AM , Rating: 2
The exec's quote indicates very strong sales, i.e. stores cannot keep them in stock. How then does that equate to "struggling"?

People reacted to this quote with derision as it was false bravado. The PS3 was easy enough to find, if you were willing to spend the $500/$600. It didn't struggle the way the Wii U is, but it didn't meet Sony's expectations. By March 2007, Sony predicted 6 million units sold, but only had moved 3.68 million.

RE: Old Economy
By Nick5324 on 8/3/2013 11:35:08 AM , Rating: 2
For comparison, by March 2013, the Wii U has sold 3.45 million units. If we are talking launch window struggles, these numbers are very similar. Obviously the big difference is that sales of the PS3 noticeably improved from this point forward, things aren't looking that way for the Wii U.

RE: Old Economy
By arazok on 7/31/2013 2:57:57 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. The OP is out to lunch on the debit angle.

People bought the Wii because it was fun, simple and unique. The Wii U isn’t.

Hard core gamers will stick with their hard core consoles, and casual gamers will download angry birds and buy a DS for their super Mario fix. To be honest, if it wasn’t for the amazing super Mario franchise, I think Wii U sales would be even lower.

RE: Old Economy
By marvdmartian on 8/1/2013 9:07:46 AM , Rating: 1
Pretty much this, in a nutshell. Nintendo tried to make a hybrid tablet/handheld game system/TV game system, and it was just not something the consumer was going to buy into.

Personally, I always wondered why the heck you needed a miniature screen on an oversized controller, if you had a TV screen you could watch it on too....and likely right in front of you!

The price point of the system didn't help them either.

RE: Old Economy
By Moishe on 8/1/2013 5:10:45 PM , Rating: 2
The credit card idea is just nuts. I pay mine off every month (maybe I'm not the norm). I have a Wii, a gaming PC, and a PS3... the PC gets the most use, but the Wii is a close second.

I have to give Nintendo much credit for innovating. In the end, they are risking and innovating and that's important. Hopefully it'll pay off for them.

The Wii was unique, fun, and cheap. That's why it sold so well. XBox360 and PS3 were run of the mill consoles, essentially a rehash, more of the same with better graphics. Since then, of course, MS has done a great job with Kinect, which has brought the XB360 into the same "fun and unique" realm as the Wii. Sony hasn't really had that, but the blu-ray and solid set of titles has been a big help. Each of the last gen consoles had a niche.

So next gen has blu-ray, some upgraded motion sensing, better graphics... ohh but wait. The Wii-U has better motion sensing, but no Blu-ray, and still lacking graphics. That and the Wii-U control scheme, while unique, borders on "too" unique. It's weird. I just don't think they hit all the right marks.

Wii-U graphics are better than Wii. That's nice, but still not even comparable to the competitors. The control scheme is weird. They didn't add any kind of movie player in... which is minor, but the only reason why some people keep their consoles after their fad has worn off is because it is a good movie player. That's the only reason I still have a PS3.

Too bad for Nintendo, but they need to try again. I hope they succeed.

By talikarni on 7/31/2013 1:42:16 PM , Rating: 1
1. MS sold 140,000 units in June alone... that is because so many of their consoles since day one have been breaking and dying with RRoD. I had a brand new one (with 120GB hard drive) and got RRoD within a week. MS only wanted to repair it under warranty, but would cost me all this extra money shipping it to them. I fought MS and the store I bought it from for 3 months demanding a refund, and finally got it. The day after that I bought a new 320GB PS3 for the same price. To this day that PS3 is still running like new and still only has 25% of space taken up on the much larger hard drive.
2. Wii U is ahead of its time from a functional standpoint, and behind the times on overall graphical power.
3. Nintendo also failed to take into consideration the largest reason for low sales: kids are the largest users of Wii related consoles. With a large tablet like controller that is expensive to repair or replace, a LOT of parents (including me) would not put a complicated and expensive controller in the hands of a 5 year old that may slam it down breaking it when they're told to turn it off and go to bed. With the original Wii, it is easy enough to buy a cheap $15-30 replacement controller if they break the old one (which was tough to do with the rubber casing). With the new tablet like controller, it would run them several weeks without it at $50-60 to repair, or $120 to replace it.

RE: comparisons
By Reflex on 7/31/2013 2:36:41 PM , Rating: 2
Ridiculous assertions on the 360. RRoD returns and in fact all warranty replacements are not counted in MS shipment numbers. The warranty for RRoD was extended for three years, and as someone who had the issue, they paid shipping, there was no argument and I had a replacement two weeks after sending it in. I call bullshit on your claims.

BTW, PS3's from that era have the same problem, but a superior cooling system made it show up later. There is a huge business now in reflowing the solder on first gen PS3's.

At any rate, MS sold 140,000 360's this past month because 140,000 people wanted 360's, some who owned them before and many who did not.

RE: comparisons
By Totally on 7/31/2013 6:51:22 PM , Rating: 2
Why do people keep bring that up? The PS3's % of a % YLOD failures pale in comparison to that of the 360's double digit failure rate. To the point it was typical to personally know at least 2 owners who had RRoDs happen to them.

RE: comparisons
By epobirs on 8/2/2013 12:07:15 PM , Rating: 2
That era is long past. The 360 Slim model is quite reliable and the problem had already been resolved well befor ethat model was released. The great majority of early units that were going to fail have long since done so.

The fact is, 140,000 units of the Xbox 360 were sold in June because it is a popular platform with a vast library and a nice array of non-gaming features.

The Wii U GamePad as require part of the base system was a mistake purely on the basis of cost. One of the reasons the Wii was so successful is the combination of low cost of entry and novelty appealed to a lot of consumers outside of the normal game console demographic. (But this lead to poor third party software sales as many of those buyers never added much software beyond what was bundled. This would have been disastrous for a subsidized platform.)

The price of the GamePad as a separate item in Japan suggests it makes up over $100 of the Wii U price tag. If they had left it as an optional accessory and sold the new machine as a Wii HD for between $200 and $250, I believe they would have had a much more compelling proposition to consumers who liked the Wii and wanted a better version. Or to those of us who never found the Wii quite worth buying but could be won over by an inexpensive backward compatible HD system for Nintendo franchises.

not the best but not bad
By celestialgrave on 7/31/2013 11:37:29 AM , Rating: 2
While the Wii U is definitely not going to compete well against the PS4 and Xbox One I actually do enjoy my Wii U, playing VC games on the gamepad is awesome. Despite usually enjoying Nintendo consoles it certainly is more like Wii 2.0 than a new generation.

By inperfectdarkness on 7/31/2013 11:43:06 AM , Rating: 2
I'm still waiting for DS playability. That would make this console a MUST-HAVE for me.

By Wolfpup on 8/1/2013 9:57:53 PM , Rating: 2
Actual fans of Nintendo would like Nintedo to either make next gen hardware (not sell a barely PS3/360 competitive console 7 years late) or spend their resources publishing on other platforms. It's inane having to buy this now-old tech to play Nintendo games when the same games could hit PS3/360, or better ones could soon hit One/PS4.

I hope this punishes them for putting gimmicks ahead of gameplay and hardware, and it gets them back on track.

By epobirs on 8/2/2013 12:11:10 PM , Rating: 2
It's not so much the age of the tech as the price tag. The Wii, aside from its controller novelty, was very dated when launched but did well because it both offered something different and had a low cost of entry.

The GamePad is just too expensive as a base system inclusion. It broke the formula that made the Wii work.

Mind boggling
By bug77 on 7/31/2013 11:21:29 AM , Rating: 2
I still can't imagine an enjoyable game where I have to keep an eye on the controller. Apparently Nintendo did, but developers refuse bringing that to the market. Otherwise I don't see how they thought the U was a good idea.

By Red Storm on 7/31/2013 11:38:34 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know anyone that was excited for the Wii U upon seeing it for the first time. We have a Wii in our house but with the new Nintendo games being Wii U only, we ended up shelving the Wii and moving on to other forms of gaming.

By Nortel on 7/31/2013 2:49:38 PM , Rating: 2
160k shipped units!! It is insane that they are afraid to release sold numbers. Tablets have dominated the space where the wiiU now sits and unless Nintendo pulls something out that amazes the world, it will be a company of the past.

"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken

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